Facework is a social enterprise which is committed to helping local people face the changing world of work. We are all about social change and social impact and since 2019 we have:
Supported social entrepreneurs through the Lewisham Changemakers programme
Re-opened and transformed the Hatcham Liberal Club Hall for the community
Ran events for and with local business and local non-profit organisations.
Piloted our soft-skills training in Ukraine to support the re-building of the country
Employed 6 local people and provided internships and volunteer placements.
For the last 2 years we have tried to secure the New Cross Gate Post Office so it remains a community asset and a hub for new social and commercial enterprises. The left hand side of the building (shown above) is still a Royal Mail sorting office, however the right hand side, which used to be the Post Office up until 2012, is unused and has remained vacant for 6 years.
Despite sending proposals and having conversations with the head of Real Estate at Royal Mail and trying to discuss our vision with the Royal Mail Corporate Social Responsibility Team, we have been frustrated. We've shown clear support from Local Ward Councillors, our MP, funders and other businesses and had offers of grants to help pump-prime the project. We've asked for a meeting on site but they just keep refusing!
Meanwhile this landmark building has not been cared for, is constantly vandalised and is bringing the local high street down with it. The Royal Mail may appear not to care that their brand is being trashed every day, but we -who live here , and call this place our home, are fed up with our high-street looking like a dump. Put it simply; we have had enough!
This film below shows our frustration at not being taken seriously. We call on the Royal Mail to either do something with the building or let a community interest company like Facework, (or another group) to work with local people to co-design the Post Office space and with the support of the Council to improve the outside pavement area and create an enterprise hub for employment, creativity as well as initiatives to combat the environmental crisis.
If you believe, like we do, that it is simply not acceptable for large corporate bodies such as the Royal Mail to ignore the wishes of the community in which they operate, than please join our campaign and help us get permission for a 2-year "meanwhile use" pilot programme so we can at least get evidence for the impact of a socially driven, people-centred project. (see form below)
It doesn't have to be this way. We have a vision and a track record of developing ethical, sustainable and accessible projects for people.
We used to call a Post Office, the 'People's Post Office'. We believe it should remain just that, an office (or workplace) for local people.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in getting behind this project.
Back in 2021 we hosted a community consultation meeting at our Hatcham House workspace and undertook a questionnaire receiving feedback from over 80 local people or organisations who were broadly in favour of supporting this project.
The proposal for this site was sent to the Royal Mail Group (both Property Division and CSR team) and although this proposal is out of date, it gives you an indication of the vision and creativity we had for this site as well as the support we received from Lewisham Council, the Creative Enterprise Zone team, Goldsmiths College, our local ward councillors and local businesses (mainly food outlets).